Saturday, May 09, 2015

Identity in Christ - 21 (Enslaved to Christ)

In the 70's, Bob Dylan wrote a song with the lyric "you gotta serve somebody." It is a rather terse phrase that expresses a Biblical idea. Every human being gives his/her heart to something. We serve whatever we give our hearts to. It doesn't matter what kind of human being we are -- male, female, black, white, republican or democrat -- we are all slaves of something.

At one time, each of us gave of hearts to something other than Jesus. Which means we were slaves to that thing. Because life flows from the heart, and our hearts are filled by whatever we give them to, we did not live as we were designed. Such a life always leads to unrighteousness.

Then, we gave our allegiance, our hearts, to Jesus. Christ filled our hearts, and our lives flowed with Jesus. Moreover, we set our hearts on Jesus, we leaned into Jesus, and we took steps to learn God's ways, to agree with them, and to complete them.

● God's Perspective

We have freely given our hearts to God, and he has become our master. He has delivered us from the penalty of sin, and from the power of sin.

If we were not delivered from the power of sin, we would have no hope of obeying God. Sin would hold our hearts. Obedience would be impossible. Growth would be impossible. We must still deal with the presence of sin. It is because sin is still present that we fall into its trap.

But our hearts are given to God, and he fills them with his grace and love. Therefore, our .ives will flow with grace, love and God's nature. We will speak and act in ways that honor our Master. We will avoid practices that we are ashamed of.

● Living My Life

This underscores why our relationship with the Father is so important. It is the regular connection of hearts that enables a regular flow of grace from his heart to our hearts to continue.

It is this flow which fills our hearts and empowers us to follow God. To live in ways that honor God. To live in ways that love and give grace. We become like a stream, receiving grace from God, passing it along, giving refreshment and life to those downstream.

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